Use airplane aromatherapy – Airplane tip

Obese fliers, crying babies and ever-shrinking legroom get lots of press, but the stinky guy is a frequent flier’s worst nightmare. While a good book and your favorite music can distract from the physical discomfort of flying, sitting next to or even near to something with very strong body odor can be downright nauseating.

Travel pros come prepared. I carry Origins Peace of Mind on planes and dab a bit under my nose to block unpleasant odors. Unlike dousing yourself in strong perfume, the scent won’t bother your neighbors. In a pinch, alternatives include Vapor-Rub, essential oils and pulse-point creams.

Eat better – Airplane tip

If you want to eat a better meal on your next long-haul flight, request a vegetarian (or kosher) meal when you book your tickets.

In addition to being fresher, the vegetarian and kosher meals on airlines — which are often the same — are often tastier than their meat-based meals. In addition, on U.S.-based flights, the meals often are less mixed together, making them easier to dissect/remove parts that don’t appeal to you.

Bring headphones – Airplane tip

Headphones are an absolute “must-have” when traveling on an airplane, for several reasons —

  1. On longer flights, it’s common to show a movie, and you probably want to hear it well.
  2. On other flights, the plane may have on-board games or on-demand music.
  3. Of course, you may bring your own pre-recorded music to help get away.
  4. The largest benefit, though, is simply to help cancel out “airplane noise.”

Airplanes can be very loud — for example, engines, crying babies, or a snoring aisle-mate can all make a flight more stressful. Headphones are an important accessory to help you relax, tune out the sounds, and pass the time.

An a pinch, you can always put headphones on to avoid a chatty seatmate (you don’t even need to turn on music to silence your talkative neighbor).

[Ed’s note: See all Gadling’s posts about headphones here.]

Ship, don’t check – Airline tip

Planning on shopping ’til you drop on your vacation? Consider shipping your purchases home via UPS, FedEx, or USPS.

With most airlines charging fees for checked bags and overweight luggage, in many cases shipping your goods home is cheaper than paying the airline’s fees.

Pay special attention to USPS, which offers several sizes of Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes — anything that fits in the box can be shipped anywhere in the United States for one flat rate.